Monday, 21 December 2015

Spiced pumpkin tofu cheesecake [v 0.1]

Spiced pumpkin tofu cheesecake 0.1

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on
Success! I wanted to make a vaguely xmass-y cheesecake for a small xmas party amongst friends, and thought that combining a pumpkin pie (something I've never made, let alone eaten) with a cheesecake would be a good suggestion. 

So first up, let me cite my references. I more-or-less adapted these recipes to suit myself. The pumpkin pie is not vegan, so fair warning.

I made one large-ish cheesecake and one small-ish cheesecake, and I had a surplus of pumpkin. So the quantities need some work. 

For the base:

2x packets of Arnott's NICE biscuits
1x cup of melted margarine. 

For the cheesecake*: 

2x 550g packs of firm tofu (I use Yenson's, it is good), drained.
~1.5 cups of brown sugar (I found out that apparently brown sugar outside of Australia is sometimes coloured with beef bone - what the fuck? - in any case, make sure it's coloured with molasses)
~2 tsp of vanilla essence
~2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime*
the zest of one lemon*

For the pumpkin:

~1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed, steamed, and somewhat cooled
~1 cup of brown sugar
~1-2 cups of coconut cream**
~2 'eggs' (I used egg replacer)

I used ground/powdered: ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon - don't be shy, flavour to taste.


- Pre-heat oven to about 375F (I was actually using an oven that is measured in fahrenheit).

- Oil-spray some pie tins/line with baking paper/whatever you do.

- In a food processor, blend the biscuits with the melted margarine, then pack into whatever pie dishes you're using. Scale ingredients accordingly. Pack it really tight.

- Once the food processor is clean, do the same thing with the cheesecake ingredients and make sure it gets really as smooth as possible. It helps if you break or cut up the tofu. And be patient. Put the resulting smooth goop into the now prepared pie tray thing.

- Again, once the food processor is clean, do the same with the cooked and cooled pumpkin, sugar, etc. 

- Dollop the pumpkin mix on top of the cheesecake mix that is in the pie tin, and swirl through the cheesecake mix with a spoon or spatula or whatever. I attempted to make that swirly latte thing.

- Bake for about 35-45 minutes until lightly brown and slightly cracked.

- Allow to cool, then refrigerate for a couple of hours to set. 


* In future, it might be nice to add more lemon/lime goodness. Lots more. For that tangy cream-cheesy-ness.
** It might be nice to add some coconut cream to the cheesecake part too, to increase the creamyness.
A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Banana cake: it's basically a superfood, right? (v.0.1)

Banana cake that is more-or-less a superfood and was invented after a nice rigorous walk in the rain for breakfast which ended up being quite late as far as breakfasts go. It is also basically a cupboard cake.

Also flow-on sentences. Pretty damn good for an invented cake, I reckon.

Ingredients (makes quite a decent sized cake)

3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of loosely packed brown sugar (two tbsp? maybe?)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup coconut powder (super-fine desiccated)
2 handfuls mixed nuts
3 heaped tsp baking powder
2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup of spelt and 1 cup of what I believe was GF self-raising...)
3 tsp vanilla essence
4 tsp of raw peanut butter (the type with nothing added to it)
3 pinches of cinnamon


0.5. Preheat oven to 200C (fan-forced)

1. Start mashing the bananas in a big bowl
2. Add oil and sugar and beat with mixer until all combined and smooth
3. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the peanut butter and cinnamon
4. Mix with a spoon until all combined
5. Put in a cake tin, papered or greased or whatever you prefer
6. Spoon the peanut butter into the centre of the top of the cake and then swirl it through to about 1cm of depth in the cake.
7. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of that
8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the skewer trick works.

Enjoy your 'superfood'.

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Creamy salad dressing (v. 0.1)

No photo, unfortunately, but I made this creamy salad dressing to go with a mock-chicken salad. I suspect it would also go exceptionally well with either pasta or potato salad.


Tahini paste
Extra virgin olive oil
Nutritional yeast flakes
Apple cider vinegar
Dried marjoram


In a little jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the ingredients roughly as follows:

1:2:2 ratio between tahini:olive oil:vinegar
Pinch of salt
Two tsp of yeast flakes (depending on quantity of dressing)
Marjoram as desired (I used about a tsp)

Then put the lid on tight and shake the hell out of it until it's all smooth and creamy, adjusting the quantity of oil as necessary for more smoothness.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Banana & Sticky Rice Breakfast Fun (v.0.1)

Good morning.

I think this post will be the first time I've made an experimental breakfast, possibly ever, but definitely in a long time. Certainly the first I'll have written up a recipe for.

We accidentally put too much sticky rice on to soak a few nights ago, so have been thinking of ways to eat it. It's pretty good stuff; a staple of Northern Thailand (Isaan, if I remember correctly), but also used in other south-east and east-Asian cooking: desserts, in particular.

This recipe is tasty, though takes a little getting used to, especially not long after waking up. I think I will revise it over time (as is intended with all these recipes not marked v.1), but would love it if other people also modified it and told me about their results.


~2 cups of (white) sticky rice, soaked overnight.
~1 banana
~2 tsp tahini paste
~2 tsp coconut cream
~2 tsp maple syrup


For the sticky rice, I use a rice cooker with steamer basket on top, lined with aluminium foil with holes stabbed into it. I put the sticky rice in the steamer on top of the foil, make sure the rice cooker bowl has plenty of water in it, cover, and steam until cooked. It takes about 15-35 minutes, depending on how soaked the rice is. You can get away with soaking only for a couple of hours, but the cook time is longer and the results can be a bit variable.

To make the sauce, just put the tahini, coconut cream and maple syrup into a bowl and mix it well. Adjust quantities for flavour preferences. This quantity of maple syrup is not overly sweet, in fact the sauce tastes decidedly like Halva.

Once the rice is cooked, place however much you want on a serving thing, chop a banana over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon (I'm not sure the cinnamon is the greatest addition to the recipe; might try LSA or similar next time), and then pour/dollop the tahini sauce over the top.

Nom with fingers if you're feeling messy, I used a spoon so I could civilly drink a coffee at the same time.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Spicy Tofu & Buckwheat (v0.1)

This one is inspired by Disco Beans, possibly the best Japanese cafe I've been to. Seriously, instead of reading my blog you should be going to Disco Beans. It's great. Nonetheless, they have recently added this delicious tofu and buckwheat thing, and I wanted to have a crack at making something similar. I have a feeling that the buckwheat they use is toasted, and I used green. But that's okay.

I should also point a thanks to this informative website about how to cook buckwheat the Russian way.


2 cups of buckwheat
6 cups of water
~350 grams of firm tofu
spring onions
margarine (Nuttalex is good!)
olive oil


1 long red chilli
2 long green chillis
1 whole tomato
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch chunk of ginger (skin on)
1-2 tsp Vincent's (not me...) vegan fish sauce
2 tsp vegan shrimp paste (yes, such a thing exists)


1. Prepare marinade by putting it all in a blender and puree-ing-ish.
2. Toss chopped tofu through marinade and let sit for a couple of hours.
3. Boil water in a large pot, once boiling add buckwheat, wait until it boils again then reduce to a low heat and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Cover with a heavy lid and remove from heat for a further 10-15 minutes.
4. Fold a tbsp of margarine through the buckwheat.
5. Heat oil in a pan, add tofu and most of the marinade and fry until fragrant.
6. Transfer buckwheat to a serving dish, fold the tofu and leftover marinade through the buckwheat.
7. Chop three spring onions over the buckwheat and tofu, then serve.

Pictured here with my rice balls.
A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Rice Balls (v0.1)

Rice Balls

In my spare time, I have been re-watching the Rurouni Kenshin TV series, which is seriously endearing viewing if you're into Anime. A commonly eaten food in the series is the humble rice ball, which, for animated food looks really damn good. I thought I'd attempt to make some.

I must give my thanks to the 3 hungry tummies blog, for providing some insight into how to make them.

Served here with spicy tofu and buckwheat.
A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Ingredients (rice ball)

2 cups of whole grain basmati rice
~ 1.2 litres of boiling water
2 tbsp white miso paste

Ingredients (fillings)

(set 1)
7 mushrooms
2 long red chilli
1 cloves garlic
(set 2)
half avocado, cubed
Japanese pickled ginger
Japanese pickled daikon


1. prepare filling set 1 by putting ingredients in a blender and blending to a course coleslaw texture. Place in dish for later
2. place filling set 2 in a separate dish for later
3. Combine until dissolved the miso paste and the water.
4. In a rice cooker or whatever, cook the basmati rice with 3:2 ratio miso water (6 cups of water to the  2 cups of rice). Keep warm.
5. Once cooked, lay the rice on a flat surface near the fillings, make a small bed of rice, add about 1-2tsp of filling (depending on the size of ball you want), cover with rice, then using your hands shape into a ball being sure to compact it as much as possible.
6. Repeat until you have all the balls you want
7. Cut nori into strips and place ball in it. You could make this like a sushi roll if you wanted.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Peanut butter v.0.1

I made some peanut butter. It's okay.

And an additional recipe to go along with the custard tart recipe.


Salted, roasted peanuts x whatever quantity.
~2-3 tbsp chia seed
Olive oil as necessary


Blend ingredients until a paste is made, and assess the oily-ness, add more oil as you feel necessary.


Custard Tart v0.1


Today I am in the process of making an experimental custard tart. Experimental because I have absolutely no idea if it will work, or how good it will be. Completely untested! The stakes? A dinner party!
Verdict: freaking delicious.

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on


1 packet of Arnotts "Nice" biscuits (they're vegan!)
~1/3 cup of raw cashews
~1/3 cup melted coconut oil
~2 tbsp homemade peanut butter (link to recipe)

2 cans of coconut milk
~3 tsp vanilla essence
~3/4 cup raw, dark brown sugar
~7 tbsp tapioca starch
~2 tsp nutmeg


Blend all the ingredients other than the oil and peanut butter until powdery. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add oil and peanut butter and combine into a loose base. Transfer to an oiled pie dish, pack it firmly into the bottom and the edges, and bake at about 200C for about 15 minutes to make it nice and firm.

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to large pot and cook on medium heat, stirring/whisking constantly, until custard-like consistency is reached. Transfer to pie dish, sprinkle some additional nutmeg or cinnamon on the top.

Allow entire tart to cool, then place in fridge until serving time.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Spelt Bread - Bread Machine (V. 0.9)

This is almost ready for version 1.0, but still could be better. Some minor variations of mine to this recipe:, so all credit to this for the base. I've never been able to get a fluffy loaf like they describe, but I'm working on improving it.

The first thing I noticed was all the talk about spelt flour having a different gluten structure to wheat, and so I thought that perhaps using a gluten substitute to help might work. It did. My next step was attempting to get a bit more moisture and a bit more lift out of the yeast. Definitely getting there.

Spelt Bread - Bread Machine (V0.9)


4 cups spelt flour (either wholemeal or white, organic or not. I've been using organic white)
1.5 cups of tepid water
3.5 tsp dried yeast
6 tsp of raw dark sugar
2 tsp of salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp xanthan gum


Put water into bread machine, followed by sugar. Give it a stir to part-dissolve. Add yeast. Then leisurely add the remaining ingredients in no particular order.

Set bread machine to medium size, light crust, default (white bread) setting. Should be about 3h12-20 minutes.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Vindaloo Variations (V.0.1)

I went out for dinner last night with my partner and some old school friends (and SOs) to an Indian restaurant in Melbourne called Gaylords. It was exquisite, though I somehow ended up with an extra-hot vegetarian Vindaloo. It didn't list that it included paneer, which was annoying, but it did, so it was not vegan. But it was exquisite. It inspired me to make a vindaloo of my own. I've used other people's recipes, or book recipes, for years now, but I've not tackled a vegan vindaloo yet. To be fair, I'm not entirely convinced it should be called a vindaloo, though of course there is so much variety in these curries that it probably doesn't matter. Anyway… for the base of this recipe I used Madhur Jaffrey's Goan Pork Vindaloo recipe (from her Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, which is written for a pressure cooker, which I don't have!)

I've not tried the original recipe, but it served as a decent basis to build mine off. So I want to acknowledge that source material.

This recipe also differs from, as far as I can tell, a lot of Indian cooking because it is baked in a cast-iron pot (pot-roasted?) rather than cooked on a stove, or a pressure cooker. Also note that this is a recipe designed for bulk cooking so that my partner and I can take food to work with us over the coming days.

Variation on a Vindaloo (V. 0.1)

General ingredients:

1x large potato + 2x medium potatoes, loosely cubed in various sizes
550g firm tofu, cubed
~2-3 cups of (soaked/cooked) chickpeas. I used dried, which soaked for about 12 hours.
Couple of handfuls of green beans, with ends removed.
1 tin of whole tomatoes
1 tin of coconut milk
1-2 tbsp of coconut oil

Curry paste ingredients & method:

1.5 tbsp brown mustard seeds
1.5 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar + more as needed (I used white as I ran out of AC)

STEP ONE: Using a large mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds and vinegar into a paste that still has quite a bit of texture.

To this paste, add:

~12 large cloves of garlic
~1 medium red onions, loosely chopped
3 heaped tsp of ground turmeric
3 heaped tsp of ground coriander seed
3 heaped tsp of ground cumin seed
3 heaped tsp of cayenne pepper
3 dried kashmiri chilis
~1 tsp of asafoetida powder
2 level tsp of salt
~9-15 dried curry leaves
~3 tbsp of red wine vinegar

Pulverise until a chunky paste consistency is achieved.


Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced), with large cast-iron pot (with lid) inside
In a separate frying pan, heat on a hot heat the coconut oil.
Once hot, add about 1/3 of the curry paste and fry until fragrant
Add the cubed tofu and fry until it starts to absorb the colour of the paste

Remove hot pot from oven, transfer contents from frying pan to pot
Add the remaining paste and fresh ingredients
Add tomatoes including juice, then use scissors to chop them up
Add coconut milk and about 1/2 a tin of extra water

Put the lid on and put it in the oven for about an hour and a half, stirring every 30 or so minutes.

Once the hour and a half is up (or the potatoes/chickpeas are nearly cooked through), turn the oven up to 200C (fan-forced) and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until well-reduced and a thick, clinging gravy exists and the tomatoes have basically turned to liquid. Sauce should be a dark caramel colour by this stage.

Serve with basmati rice or whatever you want.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Not Very Experimental Vegan Anzac Biscuits (V.1.0)

This little recipe has been in development for a while now, and is also the first v.1.0 recipe I've posted.

I really need to emphasise that I have borrowed most of the recipe from, the recipe is by Jo. However, I have modified it to suit my own taste and cooking style, so I am including my version here. This version is much, much less sweet than the original, but likely more crumbly (which I like).

Not Very Experimental Vegan Anzac Biscuits (V.1.0)

Preheat oven to 180C (FF).

1 cup of oats
1 cup of self-raising flour, gluten free
1 cup of desiccated coconut (or shredded, but des. works better)
1/2 cup of soft brown sugar
2/3 cup of liquid coconut oil
1 tsp of warm/hot water

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then form into biscuits (squish into walnut sized balls, then flatten slightly), place onto a baking-paper-lined-baking-tray, and bake at 180C for about 25 minutes or until you think they are suitably baked.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad (V.0.2)

Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad (V.0.2)

This thing was inspired by the salad with the same title that Disco Beans in Preston (Melb, Vic) have on their menu at the moment. I am seriously considering doing their cooking class to learn how to make at least the dressing that comes with it. But I thought this would be a pretty tasty lunch on a fairly warm day.

My partner thinks it was too fatty tasting and too strong on the olive oil, but I disagree on both counts. However, if you decide to make it, keep that in mind. In future, I would add some seaweed and avocado, and possibly a sprinkling of crushed chilli on top.

Revision two modifies the dressing a little, and includes avocado and alternative leafy greens.

Salad Ingredients

You could use whatever you want, really. But I used:

5-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered.
The entirety of the inner heart of an iceberg lettuce, loosely chopped OR;
Two big handfuls of mixed greens, OR;
Two big handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 a lebanese cucumber, cut lengthways into small lengths.
1/2 a zucchini grated
1 bunch (about 8-9) spring onions, chopped
1 large avocado, cubed
1 tube of Chinese buckwheat soba noodles (dried, boiled for five minutes, strained, washed with cold water, and left to cool). These have wheat in them.


~1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp of sesame oil
~1 tbsp of black sesame seeds
~1/3 cup of soy sauce
~1 heaped tsp of white miso paste (optional)
~1 tsp of vegan "fish" sauce (made with pineapple juice)
~2 basically juiceless limes, but would use 1 juicy one.
~1 tbsp lemon juice
~1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar
~1 tbsp of tepid, brewed, black tea.

Whisk that all together, assemble salad and toss, pour on the dressing, toss again (I used hands!) and serve.

Needs revision, but it was really good.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Creamy Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli with Basil & Tomato [v. 0.1]

Doing roasts without meat is a pretty fun challenge. The best part, I find, asides the awesome array of flavour, is the complete lack of preparation time and cleaning that is required. I remember in the periods where I've eaten meat (between not), the pre-time for roasting meat is much greater than for vegetables.

So when doing roasts, as I did this evening, finding a fun new centrepiece or side to take the place of the roast meat really presents some fun cooking opportunities. This recipe was served with:

  • potatoes & parsnip roasted in olive oil, garlic, onion, rosemary, and black pepper;
  • zucchini, carrots, green capsicum, roasted in canola oil, white pepper, dried oregano.
So on to the recipe.

Creamy Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli with Basil & Tomato [v. 0.1]

Creamy Sauce


1.5 tbsp tahini paste
0.5 tbsp margarine (I use the ALDI brand, because it's cheap, but Nutalex is always good)
1.0 cloves garlic
1.0 tsp English mustard
Water to thin


Melt the margarine with loosely chopped garlic, in microwave (I used a mug)
Add tahini & mustard and stir
Add water until a creamy consistency equaling around about 1.2 cups is reached.

Cauli & Broc & Whatnot


1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into whatever sized chunks you want
1 head of broccoli, chopped into whatever sized chunks you want
Fresh basil, about a cup worth
2 tomatoes, chopped into 8ths
White pepper


Put chopped cauli and broc into a baking dish
Add basil and tomatoes
Top with white pepper to your taste
Pour over the creamy sauce.
Cover with foil (or a lid if using a lidded baking dish)

Bake at 180C (Fan Forced) for about 30-40 mins, then an additional 10-20 mins without the lid.

Sorry I forgot to take a photo. It looked like it sounds like it would look.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Apple and Orange Dessert Tart (v. 0.1)

This post follows on directly from the former, and was made with the remaining 0.8x pastry sheet.

Apple and Orange Dessert Tart (v. 0.1)


0.8x pastry sheet (if making from scratch, just be brave and use a whole one/make a bigger one/whatever)
1.5x valencia oranges
2x granny smith apples
agave/maple syrup
star anise
ground cinnamon
whole cloves
coconut oil
spray oil


Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced)

Slice the apples into rough slices (not wedges) without the core
Slice the oranges into roughly 12ths, as wedges (peel before hand if you like, or after)

Layer the pastry in a small pie/tart dish after spraying with oil if you want
Place 0.5-1x star anise on the pastry
Layer the apple on top evenly
Add a sprinkle of whole cloves (about 12)
Add the oranges (skin off) in a similar layer
Sprinkle ground cinnamon fairly liberally on top of the oranges
Drizzle agave/maple syrup (I used a mixture of the both, but you could use either)
Drizzle some coconut oil on top of that

Bake for about 50-60 minutes until somewhat reduced and cooked through.

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)

You have to start somewhere, right?

I did not really want to cook anything tonight, but got inspired by a story about the onion (which was pretty mediocre really) on some news website (either The Guardian or The Age), which in itself is unremarkable, but it made me consider what I could do with the abundance of red onions that my partner and I bought from the market the other day.

This post will also serve as somewhat of an introduction to what this blog is, or will be, if I manage to keep it up.

You see, I am terrible at noting down nice recipes that I come up with. So this serves as my own personal "recipe book", if you like. But I figure that other people might also like them. The difference – I hope – between this and other food blogs is that I will be using this to document the development of recipes, somewhat like the development of music scores, from an early version (0.1) through to a finished version (1.0), and possibly beyond. I have a suspicion that many will stay at 0.1. However! There is an opportunity here for other people to join in the experimentation and suggest changes/etc. So I liken it to "experimental music", where the outcome is potentially unknown (though sometimes anticipated), and may not actually work.

So that's the idea. Now for the first recipe. Remember, this was made up 20 minutes ago, and I have no idea how it tastes.

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)


1.2x sheets of shortcrust pastry (vegan, in my case) [the remaining 0.8 will be used in another recipe]
3x medium-large red onions
1.5x large tomatoes
0.5x medium-large aubergine/eggplant (split lengthways)
~7 oyster mushrooms
Cracked black pepper
Ground white pepper
Olive oil
Dried basil
About 10 dry bay leaves
Spray oil for tart tray (I used canola)


If using frozen pastry, thaw it. Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced).

Top and tail the three onions, cut them in half, then slice them. Keep it reasonably rough.

With the half eggplant, slice it in half length ways, repeat, and repeat again (for each quarter), then chop the small wedges in half sideways to get ~3-4cm length wedges.

Spray a tart tray/shallow pie dish with oil. Lay the 1.2 sheets of pastry as necessary to fill the dish and neaten the edges if necessary/use the excess to complete the edges too.

Grind some black pepper all over the pastry.

Add the onions in one large layer, remember that they will reduce substantially with cooking.

Add eggplant wedges in slightly layered circle around the outer edge of the onions. Sprinkle salt over the wedges, then drizzle olive oil on top of that.

Trim the stalks off the oyster mushrooms and place them in the centre, and with any extra mushrooms cut them in half and place them every 2-3 wedges of eggplant.

Chop the tomatoes in thin slices. Place on top of the wedges, close-ish together, and then one or two slices in the centre.

Cover with white pepper, basil, asafoetida, and some more olive oil, and wedge bay leaves in/on the top layer.

Place in the oven uncovered and bake for about 80 minutes, making sure that the eggplant is cooked (use your eyes and/or a skewer)

Serve with a side of rocket/roquette lettuce, with a drizzle of lime juice, and a few slivers of avocado. I don't roquette available tonight, so it will likely be a mixed-cabbage and carrot dry slaw, with avocado.

Slaw Side

Given that my avocados were bad, and I lacked roquette, I made this slaw in place.


Red cabbage, green cabbage, carrot: all grated, not too much as it's a side.

A squeeze of lemon juice, some ground black pepper and salt, hand mixed and served on the side.


Really, really damn good.